Documentary rocks Pattaya tourism

Tourists make their way along Walking Street in Pattaya.
Tourists make their way along Walking Street in Pattaya.

With the image of Pattaya as a sex tourism destination being amplified by a German documentary, the private sector is concerned about the impact on tourism.

Deutsche Welle (DW) has posted a documentary on YouTube about sex tourism in Pattaya, but the video has been blocked in Thailand.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association (THA), said a similar incident regarding sex tourism in the city was reported in Germany roughly 20 years ago.

At that time it severely hampered confidence in tourism as the number of tourists from this market significantly dropped, said Mrs Marisa.

She said the related authorities should improve law enforcement, which has been the main problem for Pattaya and many destinations in Thailand for decades, to tackle the problems of illegal sex workers.

She added that even though Pattaya has developed various tourism products for families and business, and it is not only famous for its red-light district as in the past, it was challenging and might not be possible to end the perception of the city's sex tourism.

Mrs Marisa, who is also the owner of three hotels in Pattaya, said the solutions that the local administration and private sector could implement to solve this problem included consistently promoting other products and activities that draw other segments and gradually replacing sex tourism with other attractions.

"Pattaya is a melting pot that welcomes various segments, regardless of the nationality," said Mrs Marisa.

Mrs Marisa said she agreed with tourism operators in Pattaya that late opening hours until 4am should not be applied to the whole province.

"Not everybody visits Pattaya for entertainment or for sex tourism. Allowing all entertainment venues to open until 4am will definitely affect the majority in the city," said Mrs Marisa.


  • amplify: to increase something in strength, especially sound - ขยาย, ทำให้เพิ่มขึ้น
  • block: to prevent from being seen - ปิดกั้น
  • confidence: being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future - ความมั่นใจ
  • documentary (noun): a film, television programme, set of photos that deals with real people and events - สารคดี
  • enforcement: the process of making sure that something happens, especially that people obey a law or rule - การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย
  • hamper: to stop someone or something from making progress or developing; to hinder - ขัดขวาง, เป็นอุปสรรค
  • impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ
  • melting pot (noun): a place or situation in which large numbers of people, ideas, things etc. are mixed together - สถานที่หรือสถานการณ์ที่คน ความคิดหรือสิ่งต่างๆ มารวมกัน
  • perception: a particular way of understanding or thinking about something - ความเข้าใจ
  • private sector: businesses and industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - ภาคเอกชน
  • red-light district: ​a part of a town or city where there are many sex workers and sex-oriented businesses -
  • rock: to shock, surprise, or frighten someone - ทำให้ตกใจ, ทำให้สั่นสะเทือน
  • segment (noun): a part of something - ส่วน, ตอน
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